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Jay Hebblethwaite: End Of Season Blog

Jay Hebblethwaite: End Of Season Blog

Ski Exchange |

This season has been a tough one for me. I’ve been struggling with an ongoing, undiagnosed illness that has stopped me from being able to compete this winter. As much as this has affected my ability to ski, train and even just do day-to-day activities, I don’t like to dwell on the negatives. I’ve had some of my best days on skis this season that continues to fuel my passion for the sport and drives me to still envision my goals of pushing my skiing to World Cup and Olympic level.

This may sound unusual but one of my goals this season was to crash more! I often don’t push myself enough for fear of falling, but falling means that you’re trying, it means that you truly are on the limit of your ability and pushing yourself to improve. The last couple of seasons I’ve felt that my fear of falling has hindered the speed of my progression in the sport. I know that with my level of experience I can safely crash without injury so on my first day in the Alps this season I started trying hand-drag 360s. This is a super fun trick over the knuckle where you pop up and fly over the knuckle while dragging your hands along it, simultaneously doing a 360. I crashed almost every time (quite spectacularly!) but by the end of the day I had managed to learn the trick and felt super proud that, although not the most difficult trick, I was able to crash repeatedly and still get back up again and eventually learn a new trick!

The following two days in the Alps were the only two good weather days I got on my two-week trip. The Austrian spring skiing didn’t seem to be cooperating with me; rain, snow, wind, blizzards - and it was either too hot or too cold; the weather never seemed just right! The first of the two days I dialled in my favourite trick- a right cork 9 lead blunt. This rotation and grab feel amazing as the vision you get in the flip, whilst capping the blunt grab is incredible. I was working on making the axis more “flippier” so that I can progress the trick into a right double cork 12/14 lead blunt next season on a bigger jump.

The second of the two good weather days turned out to be the best day this season. I stomped a double cork 1080 first time, the best I have ever done that trick. My aerial awareness that I have been training in gymnastics so this much year paid off. I knew exactly where I was the entire trick, spotting the landing three different times during the manoeuvre. I also managed to push the trick to a double cork 1260 (after a few big crashes!). I didn’t trust my body to push the trick to a double cork 1440 as there was slight wind causing the speed to be inconsistent. I would have to take some very big slams that after so long without strength and conditioning training, could result in injury so I decided to leave that trick for next season.

Ski Exchange have helped me so much this season with their expert knowledge of the right equipment and providing financial support through providing the essential kit that mean I can focus on my competitive skiing. I’m already super excited for next season with the Winter World University Games 2025 in Italy to travelling around Europe on the Europa Cup circuit. I know it’s going to be a good one!

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